Job design

In a very simple sense, job design means the ways that decision-makers choose to organize work responsibilities, duties, activities, and tasks. Job Redesign thus involves changing work responsibilities, duties, activities, and tasks.

which is also sometimes called work redesign

Job Design

Job design is the process of Work arrangement (or rearrangement) aimed at reducing or overcoming job dissatisfaction and employee alienation arising from repetitive and mechanistic tasks. Through job design, organizations try to raise productivity levels by offering non-monetary rewards such as greater satisfaction from a sense of personal achievement in meeting the increased challenge and responsibility of one's work. Job enlargement, job enrichment, job rotation, and job simplification are the various techniques used in a job design exercise.

Although job analysis, as just described, is important for an understanding of existing jobs, organizations also must plan for new jobs and periodically consider whether they should revise existing jobs. When an organization is expanding, supervisors and human resource professionals must help plan for new or growing work units. When an organization is trying to improve quality or efficiency, a review of work units and processes may require a fresh look at how jobs are designed.

These situations call for job design, the process of defining the way work will be performed and the tasks that a given job requires, or job redesign, a similar process that involves changing an existing job design. To design jobs effectively, a person must thoroughly understand the job itself (through job analysis) and its place in the larger work unit's work flow process (through work flow analysis). Having a detailed knowledge of the tasks performed in the work unit and in the job, a manager then has many alternative ways to design a job. As shown in Figure , the available approaches emphasize different aspects of the job: the mechanics of doing a job efficiently, the job's impact on motivation, the use of safe work practices, and the mental demands of the job.

Definitions: -

Job design is the process of
a) Deciding the contents of the job.
b) Deciding methods to carry out the job.
c) Deciding the relationship which exists in the organization.
Job analysis helps to develop job design and job design matches the requirements of the job with the human qualities required to do the job.

According to Michael Armstrong, "Job Design is the process of deciding on the contents of a job in terms of its duties and responsibilities, on the methods to be used in carrying out the job, in terms of techniques, systems and procedures, and on the relationships that should exist between the job holder and his superior subordinates and colleagues."

Job analysis helps to develop job design and job design matches the requirements of the job with the human qualities required to do the job.

Nature of Job Design

Identifying the components of a given job is an integral part of job design. Designing or redesigning jobs encompasses many factors, and a number of different techniques are available to the manager. Job design has been equated with job enrichment, a technique developed by Frederick Herzberg, but job design is much broader than job enrichment alone.

Designing Efficient Jobs

If workers perform tasks as efficiently as possible, not only does the organization benefit from lower costs and greater output per worker, but workers should be less fatigued. This point of view has for years formed the basis of classical industrial engineering, which looks for the simplest way to structure work in order to maximize efficiency. Typically, applying industrial engineering to a job reduces the complexity of the work, making it so simple that almost anyone can be trained quickly and easily to perform the job. Such jobs tend to be highly specialized and repetitive.

In practice, the scientific method traditionally seeks the "one best way" to perform a job by performing time-and-motion studies to identify the most efficient movements for workers to make. Once the engineers have identified the most efficient sequence of motions, the organization should select workers based on their ability to do the job, then train them in the details of the "one best way" to perform that job. The company also should offer pay structured to motivate workers to do their best.

Despite the logical benefits of industrial engineering, a focus on efficiency alone can create jobs that are so simple and repetitive that workers get bored. Workers performing these jobs may feel their work is meaningless. Hence, most organizations combine industrial engineering with other approaches to job design.

Designing Jobs That Motivate

Especially when organizations have to compete for employees, depend on skilled knowledge workers, or need a workforce that cares about customer satisfaction, a pure focus on efficiency will not achieve human resource objectives. These organizations need jobs that employees find interesting and satisfying, and job design should take into account factors that make jobs motivating to employees.

The quest for meaningful work draws people to such career paths as teaching and public service. For example, when Patrick Bernhardt was laid off from his job as a marketing executive, he seized on the chance to switch fields. Bernhardt became a computer science teacher and enrolled in evening classes. When he switched to this job, Bernhardt took a 50 percent pay cut, but he doesn't mind: "This is the hardest thing I've ever done, but the sense of satisfaction makes it worth it."

Facts [+]

A recent Money Magazine and survey of 26,000 workers found that workers who considered themselves extremely satisfied with their jobs were putting in a lot more time at work than others. The most satisfied group in the survey reported eleven more weekly work hours than the least satisfied group. Generally, as satisfaction rose, workers reported longer hours worked.

A job satisfaction study compiled by asked satisfied workers to describe their jobs. The study found that highly satisfied employees consistently listed four factors: intellectual stimulation, job security, high levels of control and autonomy, and direct contact with clients and customers.

A model that shows how to make jobs more motivating is the Job Characteristics Model, developed by Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham. This model describes jobs in terms of five characteristics:
  1. Skill variety. The extent to which a job requires a variety of skills to carry out the tasks involved.
  2. Task identity. The degree to which a job requires completing a "whole" piece of work from beginning to end (e.g., building an entire component or resolving a customer's complaint).
  3. Task significance. The extent to which the job has an important impact on the lives of other people.
  4. Autonomy. The degree to which the job allows an individual to make decisions about the way the work will be carried out.
  5. Feedback. The extent to which a person receives clear information about performance effectiveness from the work itself.
As shown in Figure , the more of each of these characteristics a job has, the more motivating the job will be, according to the Job Characteristics Model. The model predicts that a person with such a job will be more satisfied and will produce more and better work. This approach to designing jobs includes such techniques as job enlargement, job enrichment, self-managing work teams, flexible work schedules, and telework.

Reference : HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Sandra L. Steeh University of Regina Raymond A. Nog Ohio State University John R. Hollenbeck Michigan State University Barry Gerhart University of Wisconsin-Madison Patrick M. Wright Cornel/ University

Facts [+]

Companies introducing creative concepts in naming key roles
2012:Corporate India is tossing out the old, stodgy nomenclature in favour of creative, personalised designations. At Bangalore-based start up Teleradiology Solutions, the CEO is called the 'chief pusher', quite simply because he pushes and nudges employees into delivering the goods.

The organisation also has a chief listening officer (HR head) and chief enabler (technology head). "It creates an environment where designations do not matter," says chief dreamer, Sunita Maheshwari.

Companies like Aegis want to prevent any dilution of ethics. Three months ago, they created the post of a 'chief ethics officer', whose job is to keep a check on any kind of fraudulent behaviour.

Theories of job design

The basis for job design theory is organization theory, which can be classified broadly into three strains of thought: the classical, the behavioral, and the situational.

Classical theory was expounded in early writings of Max Weber and Henri Fayol. For the classicist, any organization achieves efficiency through its division of labor. Managers identify the overall purpose of the organization. They then divide this overall purpose into jobs, each rationally related to the whole. Jobs are, in turn, grouped to create work groups, divisions, and departments. Finally, each group is assigned a supervisor, who is responsible for overseeing the work of subordinates and reporting the results to his or her own superior.

Behavioral theory
is quite different. Unlike the classicist, the behavioralist is much less interested in allocating specific tasks to specific jobs, making sure that the authority matches the position, and then trying to attain higher efficiency through specialization of labor. Behavioralists prefer simple organizational structure, decentralized decision-making, and informal departmentalization. In an organic structure, subordinates feel free to discuss their performance problems with superiors and have a positive view of the organization. They participate in decision-making and communicate with those whose views are needed to solve immediate problems. These characteristics are in stark contrast to conditions in a traditional organization, where subordinates are guarded and negative about the organization, do not feel sufficient trust to communicate openly with those of higher status, and are not permitted to participate in decision-making.

Situational theory differs from both classical and behavioral theories. Advocates stress the influence of the external environment on the allocation of responsibilities and tasks within the organization, work groups, and jobs. Allocating responsibilities and tasks means creating a structure. Appropriate structures differ according to technology, markets, production, research, and information.

Techniques Of Job Design

There are various Techniques /methods in which job design can be carried out. These methods help to analysis the job, to design the contents of the and to decide how the job must be carried out these methods are as follows

Job Design

Methods or Techniques of Job Design